Telewest 2Mbps broadband lifts off

The cable company puts two-megabits-per-second surfing on the menu, as speed becomes an increasingly important part of the broadband agenda

From Monday, Telewest users can sign up for a 2Mbps broadband connection that the cable company claims will give them a "mind blowing" Internet experience.

The service will cost £55 per month for people who don't also sign up for Telewest's telephone service, or £50 per month for those who do.

The launch follows a successful trial of the service earlier this year, and means that Telewest customers can choose from a 512Kbps, a 1Mbps or a 2Mbps Internet connection.

"High-speed surfing is like all good things in life -- once you've had a taste you want more," said Chad Raube, director of Internet services at Telewest Broadband, in a statement.

"While BT and other major ADSL providers offer a one-size-fits-all service, we recognise people have different needs and provide a menu of cable services to suit," Raube added.

The 2Mb service only offers an upstream connection of 256Kbps, the same as Telewest's 1Mbps product. A Telewest spokesman explained that the company's priority was to keep the price reasonable, and added that 256Kbps upstream should be enough for most of today's customers.

It's possible that it could be increased if Telewest believes there is sufficient demand.

Until BT lowered its wholesale broadband prices in the spring of 2002, Telewest and NTL were able to offer much cheaper high-speed Internet access than most ISPs that sold ADSL, which runs over BT's telephone network.

Today, though, prices across the sector are more similar and speed is rapidly becoming a battleground for broadband service providers. BT will make a 1Mbps wholesale broadband service available later this year, something which other ADSL operators already offer.

Bulldog, though, leads the way with a 4Mbps service.


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